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Question on changing string sizes


Bbach1

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Hard Tail's thread on 10's got me to thinking. If a guitar comes with, say, 9's from the factory, are the nut and bridge groves cut for 9's as well?

In other words, how fat can you go without having to recut the nut or replacing the bridge? One size? Two?

bbach

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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Originally posted by Bbach1:

In other words, how fat can you go without having to recut the nut or replacing the bridge? One size? Two?

Well, back in the days before I joined the forum and learned that I wasn't supposed to do it, I kept changing string sizes at will and never had to change either the bridge or the nut. The strings fitted just fine. Mind you, I've never been too fussy about those things.
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Originally posted by Kramer Ferrington III.:

Originally posted by Bbach1:

In other words, how fat can you go without having to recut the nut or replacing the bridge? One size? Two?

Well, back in the days before I joined the forum and learned that I wasn't supposed to do it, I kept changing string sizes at will and never had to change either the bridge or the nut. The strings fitted just fine. Mind you, I've never been too fussy about those things.
If the fit is tight enough then it take forever to get into tune and forever to go out.
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Realize you are talking about one hundredth of an inch.

 

The width of the nut and bridge slots are going to have enough tolerance for standard 8-9-10 strings, and I would feel ok about 11 or 12. 13 I might consider a little work, because the low E will be looking a lot bigger by that set.

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Originally posted by Billster:

Realize you are talking about one hundredth of an inch.

 

The width of the nut and bridge slots are going to have enough tolerance for standard 8-9-10 strings, and I would feel ok about 11 or 12. 13 I might consider a little work, because the low E will be looking a lot bigger by that set.

I agree. I had the know-age of that at the outset.

 

Of course nines to tens is not a big deal for most guitars into a big deal with tens on a gutair.

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If the nut is cut correctly, more than half the string should be exposed above it anyway, so the slot *shouldn't* be critical - but then, it's not a perfect world.

 

McG.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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Not to start a war, but someone said it's one one-hundreth of an inch. I beg to disagree.

 

.009 is 0 tenths, 0 one-hundreths and 9 one-thousands. The jump to .010 strings is then one-thousandth of an inch (.009 plus .001 = .010) or .0005 per side of a string sitting in a nut notch; i.e. \0/...so small that I don't see a need for nut or saddle notch adjustment.

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You can certainly cut a groove within 1/1000 accuracy. It's not how little the difference between string sizes are, it's how tight the grooves are in the nut and possibly the bridge. I realize the difference between 9's and 10's is slight and I've changed them back and forth with minimal intonation adjustments.

However, going from 9's to 11's or 12's does seem like it could be a problem.

I posted this thread because I was eyeing the stoptail bridge on the PRS I bought. Interesting bridge and attractive to look at, but as a wraparound bridge, it has some very long grooves in the tailpiece. To the naked eye, a person might be better off sticking with the string gauge that came with it. Reviews tell me intonation is not a problem with this bridge and there are a couple adjustment screws for minor corrections, but if it turns out to be a weak point, I'll have to swap it out for a tonepro.

bbach

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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Originally posted by McGeoff of the White:

If the nut is cut correctly, more than half the string should be exposed above it anyway, so the slot *shouldn't* be critical - but then, it's not a perfect world.

 

McG.

:confused::eek: Geoff! Izzat true? I don't doubt you buddy! but I checked ALL my guitars and NONE of the stings are more than half exposed above the nut! except on the 6th E and A strings? all the other ones are down in the nut slots and are not exposed at all!
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Yeah, I've gotten away with going from "nines" (factory) to "tens" and then on to "elevens" and even a mixed-gauge set for Open-D tuning including strings as heavy as a .012" for the 1st, a wound .024" for the 3rd, and a .052" for the 6th, on a Les Paul. I didn't bother to do (or have done) any filing of nut-slots or bridge-notches, but I did eyeball a little trial-and-error in the process to be sure that I wasn't going to break a chunk off of one or another corner of the nut (seen it done). Also, while these seemed to work well enough without any undue binding or hanging-up at the nut, I also hedged my bet by applying a small little tiny dab o' clear Teflon-gel lube to each slot and notch, from a pen-like applicator that I bought at Radio Shack a few years ago. Works great!

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Originally posted by ellwood:

Originally posted by McGeoff of the White:

If the nut is cut correctly, more than half the string should be exposed above it anyway, so the slot *shouldn't* be critical - but then, it's not a perfect world.

 

McG.

:confused::eek: Geoff! Izzat true? I don't doubt you buddy! but I checked ALL my guitars and NONE of the stings are more than half exposed above the nut! except on the 6th E and A strings? all the other ones are down in the nut slots and are not exposed at all!
'Tis the gospel according to St Erlewine.

 

:D

 

McG.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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Originally posted by McGeoff of the White:

'Tis the gospel according to St Erlewine.

 

:D

 

McG.

Well, no disrespect to Dan Erlewine, but that sounds extremely odd to me.

 

Have you done that on one of your guitars?

 

How does it work? Don't the strings snap out of the nut grooves as soon as you hit an open E chord hard?

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Originally posted by McGeoff of the White:

Originally posted by ellwood:

Originally posted by McGeoff of the White:

If the nut is cut correctly, more than half the string should be exposed above it anyway, so the slot *shouldn't* be critical - but then, it's not a perfect world.

 

McG.

:confused::eek: Geoff! Izzat true? I don't doubt you buddy! but I checked ALL my guitars and NONE of the stings are more than half exposed above the nut! except on the 6th E and A strings? all the other ones are down in the nut slots and are not exposed at all!
'Tis the gospel according to St Erlewine.

 

:D

 

McG.

LOL! MR. Mc.G :eek::D:thu:
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Originally posted by Rootstonian:

Not to start a war, but someone said it's one one-hundreth of an inch. I beg to disagree.

 

.009 is 0 tenths, 0 one-hundreths and 9 one-thousands. The jump to .010 strings is then one-thousandth of an inch (.009 plus .001 = .010) or .0005 per side of a string sitting in a nut notch; i.e. \0/...so small that I don't see a need for nut or saddle notch adjustment.

Which means the difference is even less.

 

Now, if someone at the bank would slip the decimal on my account from hundreds to thousands....

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My Aria TA-40 and my Ibanez ST-105 are pretty much as Erlewine described, but my Tele is cut deeper and I haven't the heart to file off a large amount of the brass nut I put on the FrankenStrat, so they are virtually tunnelled.

 

McG not Down Under

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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